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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Impact Injury at Harvest Promotes Body Rots in ‘Hass’ Avocado Fruit upon Ripening

1
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia
2
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ecosciences Precinct, PO Box 267, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2020, 6(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae6010011
Received: 13 December 2019 / Revised: 21 December 2019 / Accepted: 6 January 2020 / Published: 5 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Pathogens and Disease Management of Horticultural Crops)
Global demand for avocados has risen rapidly in recent years, yet supplying fruit that consistently meets consumer expectations for quality remains a challenge in the industry. Body rots in avocado fruit are a leading cause of consumer dissatisfaction. Anecdotal evidence suggests that body rot development may be promoted by mechanical injury at harvest and packing, despite the fruit being hard, green and mature (i.e., unripe) at these stages. Here, ‘Hass’ avocado fruit, harvested across multiple fruiting seasons from commercial orchards, were subjected to controlled impact from drop heights of 15–60 cm at the time of harvest or packing. With increasing drop height, body rot development at eating ripe stage generally occurred more frequently and produced larger lesions at the impact site and, in some experiments, elsewhere on the fruit. These findings refute a general belief that green mature avocado fruit can tolerate a degree of rough physical handling without ripe fruit quality being compromised. Ideally, best avocado harvesting and packing practice should recognize that unripe fruit must not experience drop heights of 30 cm or higher. View Full-Text
Keywords: anthracnose; Colletotrichum; fruit quality; mechanical damage; Persea americana; postharvest disease anthracnose; Colletotrichum; fruit quality; mechanical damage; Persea americana; postharvest disease
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Perkins, M.L.; Usanase, D.; Zhang, B.; Joyce, D.C.; Coates, L.M. Impact Injury at Harvest Promotes Body Rots in ‘Hass’ Avocado Fruit upon Ripening. Horticulturae 2020, 6, 11.

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